Friday, July 17, 2009

Are you limiting God?

God has been longsuffering with me. He has been showing me how I limit Him. Limit God? The Israelites limited God, but not me (Psalm 78:41)! Or so I thought. In my previous post I told you about the car and how God told me that I had attempted to limit Him. Well, I have had a God experience and lesson learned since that post. I call it training ground for me.
A week or more ago, I realized that with tuition for the girls school and a couple of not so stable clients that I will be relying on God to make tuition each month, relying on Him in a way that I haven't had to experience since becoming a 'walking' Christian. A few days later, I fell into a conversation with a man from our church in need of my services. We agreed to talk in a month and see if I can meet his business needs. I walked away saying to God, "God thank you for reminding me of your provision". I felt Him come back to me and say "There you go again, limiting me." What? The next thought was Him telling me "Why don't think He is your next client, do you not think I would bless you with such?". Ouch! Ok, it is one thing to know that God can do anything. It is another to believe Him to do something. Hence, my next experience.
Where I live I have to cross a bridge to get to the barrier island I live on, or off for that matter. For three or four nights they were doing construction on the bridge, after the peak of the bridge on each side. So that when you come upon the bridge and peak, the construction is on you and a surprise. Granted the construction signs are up, but you were unaware of the extent of construction till you were on it. Tuesday morning my husband called me before he flew out for New Jersey to warn me be careful on the bridge. I was, but not enough. Coming back that morning after dropping off the girls at a half day camp, I peaked the bridge and had slowed significantly with anticipation of the work. I got to the cut concrete and hit the transition back up and hit hard at 40mph. This new used car is slung low, really low. My husband said 'you'll know when you hit metal'. I drove down to the mail place just down the road, parked, got out and cautiously bent to look under the car. My heart sunk to the pits of my stomach and suddenly I felt sick, as I watched my oil pour out onto the parking lot, producing a rather large puddle of black oil. I had busted the oil pan. The very thing my husband warned me about, I did. I was so frazzled that when I went into the mail place to borrow their phone I couldn't remember anyone's number let alone think of anyone I could call to come get me and help me. I managed to get my letters and package mailed. I went back out to the car, got my purse, locked the car and started to walk down the little embankment to walk home. When I was in the mail place I felt a gentleman, who was also mailing some things, looking at me. Granted, you must realize, I was distraught and my face probably looked ghostly pale in comparison to my natural olive skin enhanced my the summer sun. As I began down the embankment, I felt nudged to go ask that man for ride home. I had noticed that there was a marine sticker on the back window of his large F150 and felt secure enough to ask. I walked up to his window with tears streaming down my face and asked for a favor. 'Sure'. 'Can you take me home please?'. 'Sure'. I got in and proceeded to tell him my predicament. I just busted my oil pan, my girls were at camp in town, my husband was in the air to New Jersey and our second vehicle was sitting at the airport thirty miles from here. He volunteered to take me to the airport and I accepted graciously. He took me by my house to drop off the sausage I picked up at the store on my way home and by the auto shop on the island to drop off the key to the car. And then to the airport. On our ride we talked about my husband and how I dreaded his response to what had happened and we talked about him, a former marine and now a fishing guide. I witnessed to him (a little seed) as we got to the airport as well as I could considering he was angry at God for his buddies being killed in Iraq and him being there to watch. I shared that my husband and I have a small group in our home. A few people seeking to maintain peace in a world with no peace. A small testimony, but testimony nonetheless.
For the rest of the day I wrestled with guilt, not really knowing ...was this my fault or could I have prevented it. After crossing the bridge three more times that day in the SUV I realized the only way to have prevented it was to come to a complete stop to maneuver my way up the bump of a transition. Side note, that morning the signage was "uneven lanes". Somewhere between 2pm and 3pm the signage changed to the large digital signs with flashing caution lights stating "bump ahead, speed advisory 40mph". By that time I had made several phone calls to state that "uneven lanes" was inadequate warning to the damage that could be done to the car. They had received several complaints. As I made my way through these phone calls, it was made known to me that these contractors carry insurance for such as things as this. You mean that I could be compensated for the damages?? So as I went through these phone calls, in my head I thought 'if they just paid for the oil pan, I would be content and grateful'. God came back and said 'there you go again, limiting me'. What?
Ok, ok, ok, I am tired of limiting you. I finished my phone calls. At this point as well, I hadn't eaten all day and I claimed a fast for myself until this was resolved. Into my quiet times I went thinking of what God was saying to me about limiting Him, I meditated on scripture. Much of the scripture in the previous post and some others that God brought to my mind I dwelled on.
Galations 3:5 (AMP) Then does He who supplies you with His marvelous (Holy) Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on (the grounds of your doing) what the law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?
Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Finally, and most significantly,
Proverbs 21:1
The kings heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
So, my prayer became, ok God, your word says that I have not because I ask not. Your word says that if we being evil think we can give good gifts to our children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Ok, Lord I am asking. I ask that the damage be limited to the oil pan only. I ask that I find favor in the insurance company eyes and they compensate me fully for the damage done to the car. Ok, Lord, I am asking what I feel is a big hairy audacious pray (Pray Big, Will Davis Jr.), I am asking in your name based on your Word.
Tuesday the claim had been filed.
Wednesday I had a claim number and found the damage limited to the oil pan.
Thursday I found out the damages would be covered by the insurance company and they would get me a rental, which I didn't need and did decline.
Now, I am reminiscing over the past few days and gaping in awe at my Lord at how He put through this test and I believe I came out approved. Oh, my Small Group pastor told me "I can't help but to think that in part, at least, that God is rewarding you for your boldness in sharing Him with two families during this crisis." There was the former marine who graciously took me to the airport and our new neighbors as of Tuesday, my girls invited their son to VBS and I shared a very similar story about my husband and I to them. (They were brought up in the same faiths as my husband and I were, two extremes, they hadn't been to church and I invited them, knowing that my husband and I could completely relate).
So, there you have it. Are you limiting God? Have you asked in faith. I had to muster all the faith I could to believe with mega faith. Doubt creeped in and I had to banish it right away. Doubt is the opposite of faith and the two can not co-exist. Ask God to help you with your unbelief, as I did, and muster all the faith you can to believe Him for His promises not just the fact that you know He can, but that He will.